Sports

Extra time proves a step too far for Lorrha after dramatic comeback

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Extra time proves a step too far for Lorrha after dramatic comeback thumbnailRoss O’Meara (Lorrha) drives the ball forward despite the attentions of Eoghan Hayes (Moycarkey). Pic: Rose Mannion. MT49701RM

THE long wait for Lorrha continues. Fifty one years will stretch to fifty two at the very least but when Lorrha supporters look back on this game they will relish the fact that their boys gave one right lash at trying to win the Brophy Cup to add to their County Under -21 A triumph in 1966.
The Brophy Cup is the silverware for the County Under-21 B and ironically it was thirty years since the cup was first presented in honour of the late Michal Brophy and what a way it would have been if the blues had captured the cup to honour its clubman.
As we said they gave it a right good lash. Remember they trailed by ten points 0-16 to 0-6 with a quarter of an hour remaining but the big hearted men like Michael Dolan, David O'Sullivan, Denis O'Meara, Ger Lambe, Conor Hogan, Ollie Cleary and Daniel O'Donoghue along with Ross O'Meara Brian Hogan, Niall McIntyre somehow engineered a comeback of comebacks as they outscored their more stylish opponents 4-2 to 0-4 in the last 23 minutes, including the six minutes of added time to force extra time much to the delight of a huge Lorrha following with the comeback complete when Brian Hogan sank a close in free to bring his team level at 4-8 to 0-20 after an exhilarating comeback.
As a result Lorrha had to face two periods of extra time for the second time in seven days and in fairness it was a seventeen man team performance by the North champions who gave it everything in those exciting minutes of extra time but it proved a step too far as Moycarkey had all the aces with Anthony McKelvey leading the way at full forward as he had a great battle with Conor Hogan. McKelvey scored 0-10 overall but Moycarkey had more than a one man attack as Jack Fallon scored five with Tim Hayes and the midfield partnership of Kieran Cummins (three points) and Niall Heffernan (two points) while Christy McCullagh was excellent at centre back and as a result they had the ability to ramp up the gears to win extra time eight points (from play) to three for the North champions.
But in a game of inches it could have been so different had the brilliant Niall McIntyre not lost possession in the 73rd minute when soloing unmarked into open ground with a possible goal at the taking. A goal at the time would have brought scores level and might have turned the game in Lorrha's favour. It was not to be and Moycarkey remained calm and their better all round strikers created space and ability to score. Twenty eight scores and ten scorers tell its own story with all bar seven from play.
Scoring
There was a minute's silence before the game in memory of Kay Howard, Newtown and Martin Kennedy, Lorrha. The weather was unusually mild for December and was responsible for a good size attendance as Lorrha defended the village end.
They got off to a good start with Brian Hogan opening the scoring with a free and Niall McIntyre adding a score from play as he hit the target in his stride.
Things were going well for the North champions but Moycarkey were content to bide their time and in the fifth minute they breached the Lorrha defence when J.J. Darmody broke through but Oliver Cleary got in the vital hook to save a possible goal.
It was the start of things to come and soon the scores began to arrive more frequently with dangermen Anthony McKelvey opening the scoring in the sixth minute. Brian Hogan put Lorrha two in front two minutes later but Moycarkey looked the more dangerous as the game developed and Tom Hayes' pinpoint pass to McKelvey saw the full forward score again after ten and four minutes later the talented Jack Fallon levelled.
The Moycarkey side were full of running now and by the 21st minute they had taken a three point lead with Kevin O'Regan, McKelvey from a free and Fallon again on target.
Much of the positive work had good foundation in clearances by Eric Fanning, Eoghan Hayes and Christy McCullagh but there was a temporary setback when Brian Hogan notched a free after wing back Rory Darmody had over-carried. Seconds later Hogan was through on goal as he raced in from the left but Eric Fanning was brave when he saved a goal bound shot. A let off for Moycarkey Borris!
Moycarkey responded with three good points commencing with one by J.J. Darmody. Fallon scored again and McKelvey added one more. Lorrha's main threat was from Brian Hogan but he was double marked and fouled rather a lot and he responded with his fourth pointed free of the half in the 29th minute. Yet there was enough time for Moycarkey to establish a stronger hold on the game and as the half drew to a halt, they produced two more points through Kevin Cummins and McKelvey again to leave the half time score, Moycarkey Borris 0-11 Lorrha 0-5.
Despite having a six point advantage, Moycarkey looked worried. Tom Hayes picked up a new position in trailing the runs of Niall McIntyre taking up position half way between the midfield and half back areas. Meanwhile Ross O'Meara gave Lorrha some respite with a 34th minute point but the respite was short lived as Moycarkey upped the gears and picked off some well organised scores through Fallon, Doran and Niall Heffernan from half way. McKelvey added two more, one from a free and the Mid champions looked poised to win their first county Under-21 title as they led 0-16 to 0-6 after 43 minutes.
Lorrha relied on the lengthy puckout of Patrick Reddan and usually Brian Hogan was the target and was usually fouled like in the 46th minute when he was fouled close to goal. He decided to strike for goal. Rhys Shelly saved. The rebound was met first time by Niall McIntyre but Shelley saved again and in the aftermath Moycarkey conceded a free. Hogan went low again and this time he succeeded.
However a six point deficit seemed a step too far. Alan O'Meara was deployed at midfield, a similar ploy used to good effect against Golden in the semi final. But Moycarkey continued to turn the screw and McKelvey forced Lorrha goalkeeper Patrick Reddan to make a good save. The Mid champions moved on and three more points by McKelvey, a free, Joe Doran and Jack Fallon. With three minutes remaining a nine point lead was much more assuring for Moycarkey.
However Lorrha had plenty guts and spirit and one more attack commenced with some smart and precise striking to hand involving Ross O'Meara, Alan O'Meara and Brian Hogan which allowed Hogan move forward. Closely marked he lost possession and Niall McIntyre was in support and the free flowing midfielder picked up and had the ball in the back of the net in a split second.
Encouraged by the goal, Lorrha continued to attack once more. Suddenly it was Niall McIntyre on the run again and time he went alone and gave Rhys Shelly no chance in goal. With three points separating the sides we wondered if Lorrha had enough in the tank to pull off an equalising goal. But a timely point by Fallon, (his fifth) upset plans as play entered added time. Yet there was enough time for one more free by Hogan just on 62 minutes.
It was all Lorrha now. The Hogan-McIntyre axis continued to move with menace and more action led to a foul on Hogan. A close in free as expectations of a goal rose high! Hogan went for power. Moycarkey had twelve players on the goal line but not enough to prevent Hogan from successfully finding the back of the net to bring the sides level and with six and a half minutes overtime.
It was two periods of extra time. Moycarkey 0-20 Lorrha 4-8.
Excitement levels had risen. On resuming Moycarkey went two in front through Kieran Cummins and a long range free by Moycarkey goalkeeper Rhys Shelly. But Lorrha remained defiant. Points by Brian Hogan from a free and Ross O'Meara from play had the teams level two minutes from the interval.
However another McKelvey free insured a Moycarkey lead for the changeover.
Once that changeover was complete, Moycarkey hit the road on the front foot. Tom Hayes scored a great point from the right touchline. Kieran Cummins increased his point tally to three. But Lorrha were not gone yet. Niall McIntyre suddenly found possession and unmarked he headed for goal but lost the ball. Relief for Moycarkey and when they managed to turn defence into attack they increased the lead to four thanks to McKelvey again. The Mid champs looked good for victory. With twelve players behind the ball they defended well and with a minute left the sealed the day with a point for substitute Bill Maher as he became the tenth player to score for the new champions.
SCORERS: Moycarkey Borris; A McKelvey (0-10, 0-4 frees, 0-1 '65'); J Fallon (0-5); K Cummins (0-3); N Heffernan, J Doran and T Hayes (0-2 each); K O'Regan, J.J. Darmody and B Maher (0-1 each); R Shelly (0-1, free).
Lorrha; B Hogan (2-8, 2-8 frees); N McIntyre (2-1); R O'Meara (0-2).
MOYCARKEY BORRIS: Rhys Shelly; Mike Bergin, Eric Fanning, Kieran Kearney; Eoghan Hayes, Christy McCullagh, Rory Darmody; Niall Heffernan, Kieran Cummins; Jack Darmody, Tom Hayes, Kevin O'Regan; J.J. Darmody, Anthony McKelvey, Joe Doran. Subs: Pat Whelan (for M Bergin, 59 mins); David O'Donnell (for K O'Regan, half time in extra time); Bill Maher (for Doran, 75 mins).
LORRHA: Patrick Reddin; Ger Lambe, Conor Hogan, Ollie Cleary; David O'Sullivan, Michael Dolan, Denis O'Meara; Daniel O'Donoghue, Niall McIntyre; Ross O'Meara, Brian Hogan (Capt), Tomas Kennedy; Alan O'Meara, Leon Houlihan, MacDarra Kennedy. Subs: Tony Needham (for Houlihan, 43 mins); Colin O'Meara (for M Kennedy, 59 mins); Leon Houlihan (for A O'Meara, 75 mins).
REFEREE: Paul Guinan (Killenaule).

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